One of my favorite exercises for weight loss are “table push-aways”. As soon as you feel satisfied, typically around 70% full, then “push-away” from the table and don’t return until you are hungry again. Overeating can not only lead to weight gain, but can be a major contributor to a myriad of health conditions. Check out the video below for a quick demonstration 🙂 


Potential Side Effects of Overeating

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Digestive upset Bloating / Gas Constipation / Diarrhea
Trouble concentrating Lack of motivation Increased insulin resistance
Hurts the bank account Negatively affects metabolism Emotional and mental suffering
Weight gain Poor Self Image Inflammation
Tired / lathargic Weakens the immune system Future complications – heart disease,
diabetes, acid reflux, skin issues

Why Do We Overeat?

Food scarfing. One of the biggest problems some of us have is we tend to inhale our food, rather than enjoy it slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to signal to the brain that we are full. So when you eat half a pizza in less than 10 minutes, even though your stomach is now full, you still have another 10 minutes to keep eating before your brain processes the information and pulls the reigns.

Dessert packing. There is this unique skill that humans possess in which despite how full they are, they can always pack in some dessert. Am I right? And most of the time it’s not just a spoonful of ice-cream but rather a whole bowl full, or the whole bag of candy or a couple pieces of pie.

The food we eat is not nutrient dense. Processed foods like cake, doughnuts, breads, candy and chips have little more to offer than sugar, fat and a ton of calories. Sometimes, even though our tummies are full of food, our body is empty on nutrition. Maybe you have eaten as usual one day or even more than usual, yet you still feel hungry? This could simply be your your brain telling you to eat more, because you are lacking certain nutrients.

Emotional comfort and to reduce stress. Let’s face it. Work, relationships, family, life is stressful. Many of us turn to food to help us cope which can lead to late night binges.

We have trained our bodies to override the “full” signal. You probably remember being a child being told you had to eat everything on your plate or else suffer some consequence. Or maybe you are one of those parents now doing the same with your kids. Also, portion sizes today have increased dramatically from what they used to be decades ago. And throw on top of all this a weird social status for being the person that can eat the most. There are lots of factors influencing us to override nature’s signals.

Social events. Many times, despite not being hungry, we find ourselves at a social events surrounded by food. We feel obligated to eat.

We mistake appetite for hunger. Much of the time we are not really hungry at all, we just simply want to eat.

Food tastes so darn good! Sometimes it’s just hard to stop eating when the food tastes so darn good!

What can I do to help prevent overeating?

  1. Eat whole plant foods. Whole plant foods contain lot’s of fiber that helps with satiety and are loaded with natural vitamins and minerals to satisfy your nutritional needs. Remove processed food from your diet and replace them with fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.
  2. Eat mindfully. Relax, begin with a prayer of gratitude, slow down, put your fork down occasionally and try to not eat alone.
  3. Get adequate sleep. This typically means going to bed earlier which will help prevent late night binging. Adequate sleep helps combat stress and improves overall health and mood.
  4. Identify trigger foods and avoid them. Whether it is skittles, Twinkies, bread, Oreo’s or ice-cream, what ever tends to make you lose control, don’t stock your home with them!
  5. Learn stress management. Food isn’t the only thing that can help comfort you. Check out our post here to learn more and for helpful techniques.
  6. Exercise regularly. Exercise usually makes us feel better about ourselves and relieve stress.
  7. Learn to identify true hunger from mere appetite. Click here to read a very insightful article on hunger vs. appetite.
  8. Practice “table push-aways”.
  9. Go for a little dessert before you have to undo your pant button. 
  10. Stop and satisfied. This usually occurs when you are 70% full.
  11. Stay Hydrated. Many times when we crave food, we are actually lacking water. In fact, the majority of people are chronically dehydrated to some degree. For more information on the importance of drinking water, click here.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to not overeat. I have been known to out binge anyone and everyone. In the moment it fells so good, but soon after it feels awful. This year is a new year! Let’s control our appetites together!

 

*If reading isn’t your thing, watch the video below!